We count down the ten most popular films at the Coolidge this past year.
2019 was a big year at the Coolidge, with new films from established masters like Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodóvar, and Claire Denis, second films from exciting new talents like Greta Gerwig, Ari Aster, and Robert Eggers, and debuts from filmmakers like Nisha Ganatra, Lulu Wang, and Melina Matsoukas.
Below, you'll find the ten most popular films at the Coolidge this year:
10. Amazing Grace
The only documentary on this list, Sydney Pollack and Alan Elliott's film of Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace concert in 1972 was one of the Coolidge's bigger hits early in the year. The film got a boost from two special screenings preceded by performances from local gospel choirs, Joyful Voices of Inspiration and The New England Gospel Ensemble.
One of two films starring Florence Pugh on this list, Ari Aster's follow-up to the hit Hereditary certainly caused some walkouts—but most were awed by the daylight terror and surprising comedy of Aster's folk horror tale. Some audiences craved more Midsommar, and so opening the directors cut, with a runtime nearly half an hour longer than that of the original, help boost the film into our top ten.
8. Downton Abbey
The film spinoff of the hit British TV series, Downton Abbey opened in September and played through the end of October. Before the opening, we had creator/writer Julian Fellowes, producers Gareth Neame and Liz Trubridge, and actresses Phyllis Logan and Lesley Nicol in person for a Q&A, which you can watch here.
The rare comic book film at the Coolidge, this gritty, Scorsese-influenced take on the iconic Batman villain was also our most popular 70mm presentation of the year.
Jordan Peele's directorial debut Get Out was a phenomenon, both at the Coolidge and around the whole country, and Us proved a worthy follow-up, with a stunning central performance from Lupita Nyong'o to boot.
5. The Irishman
Martin Scorsese's three and a half hour mobster epic was one of the most anticipated and hotly debated films of the year, and it when it arrived at the Coolidge it did not disappoint. The runtime didn't keep people away, and The Irishman ended up being one of two films this year (along with Little Women) to completely sell out a show in our main theater.
4. The Farewell
Lulu Wang's film first debuted at the Coolidge as part of Independent Film Festival Boston in May, as their closing night film with Wang in attendance (watch that Q&A here). It went on to open in July, running to great success through late September.
3. Little Women
Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird was our most popular film of 2017, it only makes sense that her follow-up landed so high on our 2019 list. Opening on Christmas Day on 35mm, it was one of two films (along with The Irishman) to completely sell out a show in our main theater.
2. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino films are guaranteed hits at the Coolidge, and his new sprawling tale about Hollywood in 1969 was no exception. Screened on 35mm, from late July through late September, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood was our top film of the year, until Bong Joon Ho stepped in.
When Bong Joon Ho's latest opened in October, it had already won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and had brought the South Korean director some of the best reviews of his career. Still, no one anticipated just how well the film would do, that it would continue to play for months, end up as our most popular of the year, and become one of the ten highest grossing foreign language films of all time.
Please note: rankings determined by number of tickets sold, not by gross income. Special events, and 2018 films that continued to play into 2019, were not eligible for this list.